Personal feelings, and observations (with no particular solution)
I don't need Murray, Murray, Boudreau or anyone else...
...to tell me what to write here... this is purely my opinion, and whether I should have done it in "Word" and proofread it 5 or 6 times, and emailed it to Rinkrat for inclusion on the front page, or not... I wanted it to be from my head, from my heart, and from a place I have been in as a Kings fan for 28 seasons.
This has been a most interesting season for me, because I have had the opportunity to speak with the coach, the chief scout, and the coach of the primary farm team. In each of these "interviews" I have come away with an extremely positive take on the team; its' present and its' future.
Thoughts of hearing the sincerity in Al Murray's voice, as he spoke about how everyone he speaks to believes that Andy Murray is the coach of the year... now, a distant memory, as the Kings, winless in 10, appear to be drifting into playoff obscurity. Coach Andy Murray, sitting across a table from me, looking me in the eye, and saying that if I were to take a poll around the league, I would find that the Kings are considered one of the toughest opponents on any given night... Now, we question the team's toughness on a game-in, game-out basis.
I'll tell you one thing, I am sure Dave Taylor is going to have some sleepless nights over the next week or so. Decisions have to be made. Does the team have the emotional fortitude to weather this current storm? Winless in TEN. We've only played 41, so that's 25% of the season to date. That's a LOT of games not to win. Now is where the experience, and leadership comes into play. Jon Sim's name is on a Stanley Cup... clearly, he is not a leader. Trent Klatt is a veteran of many years in the NHL... clearly, he has not won enough to lead the team through this kind of patch. Norstrom, Stumpel, Robitaille, Straka, Laperriere... the list goes on, and while some of these names are impressive by NHL talent standards, they are not character guys who lead by example, and are used to righting sinking ships. This, again, is no knock on their abilities as players. This is about looking around a dressing room and seeing a deflated Holland, Gleason, Corvo, Frolov, Brown, etc. Young kids with not a lot of NHL experience, seeing their team fall apart in front of their very eyes. Yes, there's been adversity over the first 30 games of the season, and yes, they battled their way out of it, but not now... Now, we have not won in weeks, and the doubt is creeping in. How does this team survive the next 41 games, and compete with the nightly Cinderella stories... Nashville, San Jose, Calgary... who's this year's Anaheim? who's this year's Minnesota? You know there will be a team (or two) that were not expected to perform, that will show up and upset the favorites. The Kings clearly don't have the horses, with all the injured players, but even with a Palffy, or maybe an Allison, we've seen thin defense, horrifying special teams (power play certainly) and inconsistent (at best) goaltending. This is not an equation for success.
Do you add? Do you subtract? Do you hope that a returning Brown, or a spirited return from Manchester by a Cammalleri or a Clarke (or a Barney, Lehoux, Muir, Rosa, Smithson...) will energize the team?
Yes, Dave Taylor has some thinking to do, and we haven't even touched on the CBA negotiations, and the fact that our last chance to see good NHL caliber hockey may have fallen by the wayside somewhere between a December 16th victory, and an innocent play in overtime that ended with Ziggy Palffy rushing to the locker room, shoulder separated from its' socket.
Is Andy Murray the coach of the year? I think not. Is this a tough team to play against on any given night? Not hardly. Is Saturday's game against Columbus a sure thing, by virtue of the fact that the Blue Jackets have been the league doormat this season? No way, Jose. The BJs won in OT against a tough Shark team tonight, and are being coached by Gerrard Gallant, who didn't stand for crap as a player, and won't stand for it as a coach. There's no guaranteed two points against anyone in this league, and if the Kings put forth the kind of effort they put forth for the majority of time in the majority of their past 25% of the season, it's going to be another "Silent Night" at Staples.
I don't propose any answers. I don't see this as something that the fans on LGK are going to be able to come up with the correct solutions to. I don't even know that Dave Taylor is going to be able to solve this Rubik's Cube within the next series of games.
I only know that from Tim Leiweke, to Dave Taylor and all the way down to the people who will be sitting at empty Box Office windows on game nights throughout the months of February and March... there's a lot of soul searching that has to be done, and as I have stood by and watched for the better part of the last 28 seasons, I guess I will go along for the ride once again. After all, it's hockey... I don't stop watching just because it's BAD hockey. Make no mistake about it... This is BAD hockey (and it was bad hockey with Ziggy in the lineup... and who knows, it might have been bad hockey with a healthy Miller, Deadmarsh or Allison... probably not, but you just don't know.)
yes, reprinted from that other site, because I thought you guys would/should respond as well.
WE concede nothing! Not one thing. WE play and watch until WE are mathematically eliminated. WE were without Palffy last night and WE played one of the best teams in the league pretty tight. A bounce or 2 different and the game is winable. 3-1 against Vancouver is acceptable, and certainly not disgraceful. WE may not make the playoffs now and WE are disappointed by that fact. On the other hand this may open new aspects of this team that are unsuspected at this time
Here's what has to happen- the team must shift focus from slippery offense to tough defense. WE need one more stay at home defensemen to lynch pin another line. Not Gonchar, or Zhitnik but a guy like Aaron Ward or Sean O'Donnel. WE need Aaron Miller back from IR. WE need people to start playing in the middle of the ice not on the perimeter. There is a real need to get a nasty streak. "Tough to play against and not end up wearing at least an ace bandage or taking a couple of stiches", should be our new motto. Bring up Flinn, and Barney and the Squid, hell WE'll call up Lehoux if WE have to. Screw the PPQB, we don't get calls on any but the most blatant penalties committed against us anyway. The penalty kill must be 22nd or better by Ground Hog Day. Let it all fly, every inch of canvas the King's frigate has. Turn the dogs of war loose. WE have some guys who will score even without Palffy in the lineup. WE will protect anyone wearing the crown on his chest. Pay double for any encroachment on our sovreignty. Mutually assured destruction. It is not going to be pretty, it's not gonna be pleasant, it's gonna be 20 miles of bad road, uphill, but WE will not just sit down and weep for what might have been. WE will create a new destiny, a better destiny. We are hockey fans, Kings fans in particular, if it all ends badly, well get used to it, because only one city has a parade each year and WE've gone over 35 years without one. But WE will prevail one day, and it could still be this year, it's not likely but it wasn't likely on opening day. Now Heave to, lubbers!
Solid thoughts. I think most of us have had the same thoughts this whole season but it took the percipitating event of a 10 game winless streak to let it out.
No one get me wrong, I have not begun to give up on this season. I just think the loss of Palffy is going to make things that much more difficult.
But one doesn't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows (my 2nd Dylan reference in the last 24 hours) and if this team does not improve soon, there will be a youth movement at the trading deadline.
Saxon Sports Information and Research
I imagine they'll be sellers but we'll see... it takes money to make money. If anyone knows that it should be Phil Anschutz.
As we should be. Lappy and Modry, whom are UFA's could fetch us some decent prospects or picks. Trust me, people on the East, see Modry's numbers and love him. They don't know the true tale. Lappy's trade value would be sky high for someone like Ottawa or Montreal right now. He'd get a shot to do something special for a team. We have Avery as an agitator, and Jens Karlsson will pick up some slack when he comes over in a year or two.
Let the kids play. I want to see Cammy play 55 games this year. I want to give Scott Barney another chance. When Grebs gets healthy in March, give him a shot. I realize that Tubby won't necessarily agree with me, but if Aulin is healthy by March, give him a shot too.
I say, keep the "other site" stuff for the other site.
Since this time it reflects your opinion and the same words would be used then its all the same mate but, in general, the way we conduct ourselves and the general opinions on this site are totally different then those of the "other" one and the two should never be the same. Now, my take and a pound will still get you a softie and a cuppa but thats just what I feel about it and since we are posting our "opinion" I felt why not add mine.
That being said, you know your hockey and make the same observations that most Kings fans do. Nothing more or less but more of the same. The thing is, as has been said in several other threads, each year we get a roster that is different from the past ones. We often get different coaches, gm's, owners, trainers, presidents etc. With all of these differences, it doesn't matter how long you have been a fan because each season gives us a knew look at our team. Sure you get to see our past mistakes and accomplishments but other than that its all just the opinions of hockey fans and all matter what not.
What matters I feel the most in this (as is our usual situation) is what you give to your team. It amazes me (not pointed at you mate) how busy so many are at whinning and how many "thats it, I give up" posts and threads there are. I mean, we ask our team and our org and its players to NEVER GIVE UP and such but the first sign of troubles or our best mate the injury bug drops by we tuck tail and scurry.
Sure, we have had our fill of them(injuries) and THAT is the only thing we should be looking into and fixing. What good does adding players to our team do if they are going to come in and play a passive "thinking mans" style of game only to get injured by the teams and players who "don't take losing or any crap"?
What good does it do to be one of the best drafting teams in the league (as evidenced by our org rankings) if we are going to bring kids in and sit them or better still, once they prove themselves refuse to reward thier efforts with more ice time, more talented line mates, more PP time, more responsibility etc. What good does it do to have hard nosed players if you aren't going to let them play a physical game?
I don't have the answers and if I did, they would be the answers that A FAN like the rest of us (no matter how grand we see ourselves and our many many years of watching the game and how important that is) have to give and not bloody matter one spec of a tick. Its fun to recliner coach but in the end, not one of us has an answer that is better than what our actual hockey people in the org will come up with.
I have absolute faith in Stitch that he will right the ship. He gets my full support. He is the top of the org for my buck and as such, will get my backing until he isn't. I will believe that his decisions are made with our being a champion in mind and that, if they don't make sense to me that it is because, as always and with all of us, I don't know everything that is going on behind the scenes that are making him make the choices he does. I have faith that is based on his excellent performance for us to date.
Now, do I feel we should be adding players to the team? I do, but, not until we address the style of game that we play. Playing not to lose and not to get caught up ice and not to be taken out of the play by finishing your checks and such are only going to get you injured I feel, as shown by the current state of our team. If it is time for a new coach then Dave will know what to do. If it is time to help Andy change his plan, then that will happen also.
I guess I have a hard time in the whole, "we are doomed" thing as it shows no support of our GM or team and no faith that they are doing everything they can to remedy the situation. Like Dave sits back and waits until we yap enough to do anything and ISN'T trying to make us the best unless we do.
So, I believe that we are doing things to make this better and I also belive that the past is the past and will only judge Stitch and Andy based on what they have done in thier PRESENT jobs and not what the team has done before them. So far, for me, Dave is and has been doing a brilliant job and Andy has some answers to give. Since Dave is the boss, I believe things will be fixed in the manner and time frame that they can be done best in order to build a champion.
I think Mathieu Schneider said it best a season ago or two. That this team cannot just get by every night on extremely hard work. Sooner or later it's going to take a toll. ***** most of the beer leagues we all probably play in don't even have checking in them, and I go home sore with bumps and bruises, and it's not even in the same ball park (or hemisphere for that matter) as far as this league goes.
Our top lines consist of finesse players that need protection. And we just don't offer that. Do we change the face of our whole team....NO! But protection is needed, and I can't emphasize that enough. We do nothing to police our own problems, and that's the only way we'll ever get justice. And, what i'm saying is not rocket science. Every where Gretzky played he had major protection and not just one player. If you even looked at him the wrong way, you'd get crushed. And, it's not that you have to play those type of guys on his line, it's the overall presence that those players bring.
Teams like the Vancouver Canucks are not that great, and as much as everyone overrates them, they're not that impressive, especially when it comes to work ethic. But, this is the catch. They have one top line that absolutely dominates, you take that equation away, and they're dead in the water. Bertuzzi can bring most of the protection, so players know better, and Jovo-cop also brings it. Not to mention they also play May. These type of teams will get wins even when they get out-played, ou-shot, out-hit, it doesn't matter because they can still get by on talent of their top line. And, that's what Schnieder was saying.
At the beginning of the year I thought this was one of the best teams on paper that we've had in a long time, minus one defenseman. But as it stands we will be nothing more than a team that simply survives night in and night out. And, it get's tiring to watch. But i'm diseased with this team, as i've been for the last twenty years. I just don't know anymore?